Fall 2023:
European and Asian Adventure

Exploring countries in Europe and Asia, this voyage gives participants a truly impactful study abroad adventure on our floating college!

  • Overview:

    • 105 Days

    • 12 Countries

    • 12 Cities

    • 2 Continents

  • Embark:

    September 9, 2023, Amsterdam, Netherlands

  • Disembark:

    December 22, 2023, Tokyo, Japan

  • Itinerary:

    Spain, Greece, Suez Canal Transit, Jordan, Oman, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea

  • Helpful Documents:

Explore, Learn, and Grow

Join Semester at Sea as we sail to countries in Europe and Asia. You’ll experience a wide range of cultures and histories, setting sail from Amsterdam, Netherlands and disembarking in Tokyo, Japan — with a whole lot in between — all while living and learning aboard a ship you’ll call home with a community that’s designed to build friendships for life.

Make the Voyage Your Own

With guided Field Programs and plenty of opportunities for in-country travel on your own or with fellow SAS voyagers, you’ll explore your interests and deepen your understanding of the world. Bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to discover the unknown.

  1. Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. Barcelona, Spain
  3. Piraeus, Greece
  4. Suez Canal Transit, Egypt
  5. Aqaba, Jordan
  6. Muscat, Oman
  7. Mumbai, India
  8. Port Klang, Malaysia
  9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  10. Shanghai, China
  11. Osaka, Japan
  12. Busan, South Korea
  13. Tokyo, Japan
  1. 1

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Sep 09

    With a rich artistic heritage, progressive attitudes, and picturesque countrysides, the Netherlands is a must-see destination in Europe. Amsterdam offers unconventional restaurants, a bike culture, charming canals, and world-class museums that make this city a vibrant and exciting place to explore. Highlights include visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, along with many other museums. You can bike along the canals or explore the waterways via boat. Or if it is tulip season, visit Keukenhof, which claims to be the world’s largest flower park and boasts an endless land of multicolored tulips.

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    • capitol Amsterdam
    • language Dutch
    • religions Roman Catholicism, Protestantism
    • government Unitary state, constitutional monarchy, monarchy, hereditary monarchy, parliamentary system, federacy, representative democracy
    • currency Euro
    • population 17.44 million (2020)
  2. 2

    Barcelona, Spain

    Sep 17 – Sep 21

    Spain’s diverse landscape, architecture, art, and cuisine make the country rich in culture and charm. Semester at Sea ports of call in Spain include Barcelona, Valencia, and La Coruna. Field Program options include explorations of the art, culture, and architecture of the two diverse regions. Highlights include overnight trips to Sevilla, Granada, and Madrid, with opportunities to explore the cathedrals, gardens, palaces, and other cultural sites that reflect Spain’s Moorish and Islamic heritage.

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    • capitol Madrid
    • language Castillian Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Basque, Aranese
    • religions Catholicism
    • government Monarchy, unitary state, parliamentary system, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Euro
    • population 47.35 million (2020)
  3. 3

    Piraeus, Greece

    Sep 27 – Sep 30

    With more ancient sites than any other country in Europe, Greece is an archaeological treasure. Philosophers and theologians have long been drawn here to explore the roots of modern thought. Even so, it is the vibrant blues and rugged beauty of the Greek Islands that beckon many visitors away from the crowds of Athens and the Acropolis. Santorini’s picturesque town of Oia is a whitewashed, blue-domed beauty. The sea-side cafes, windmills and nightlife of Mykonos are also draw for many of our participants. Sandy beaches can be found on Skiathos.

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    • capitol Athens
    • language Greek
    • religions Orthodox Christianity
    • government Republic, Parliamentary system, Constitutional republic
    • currency Euro
    • population 10.72 million (2019)
  4. 4

    Suez Canal Transit, Egypt

    Oct 03

    The Suez Canal is one of the most important waterways in the world, separating the African continent from Asia. This artificial sea-level waterway provides the shortest maritime route between the east and the west due to its unique geographical location. This transit canal runs north-south across the Isthmus of Suez in Egypt and connects the Mediterranean and the Red seas, extending 193 km (120 miles) between Port Said (Būr Saʿīd) in the north and Suez in the south.

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  5. 5

    Aqaba, Jordan

    Oct 05 – Oct 08

    Jordan, centered in the heart of the Middle East, is a peaceful and stable country that warmly welcomes visitors. With countless treasures — from Petra to the Dead Sea to ancient Roman ruins — there are many places to explore. Jordan is a young state that occupies an ancient land, one that bears the traces of many civilizations. Jordan is an integral part of the Arab world and thus shares a cultural tradition common to the region. Semester at Sea ports of call in Jordan include Aqaba. Highlights include visiting one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Red Rose City, otherwise known as Petra. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is well known for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system.

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    • capitol Amman
    • language Arabic
    • religions Sunni Islam
    • government Parliamentary system, unitary state, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Jordanian dinar
    • population 10.2 Million (2020)
  6. 6

    Muscat, Oman

    Oct 16 – Oct 19

    Oman is known for its natural beauty and its mountains, holding mysterious caves and marvelous wadis. This country occupies the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula at the confluence of the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Much of the country’s interior falls within the sandy, treeless, and largely waterless region of the Arabian Peninsula known as the Rubʿ al-Khali. The region is still the domain of Bedouin nomads, although today it is also crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines. Semester at Sea ports of call in Oman include Muscat. Highlights include exploring the city of Muscat, where you can visit 16th century Portuguese forts and modern, marble-clad mosques.

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    • capitol Muscat
    • language Arabic
    • religions Islam
    • government Parliamentary system, unitary state, absolute monarchy
    • currency Omani rial
    • population 5.107 Million (2020)
  7. 7

    Mumbai, India

    Oct 24 – Oct 29

    As one of the most populous nations in the world, India is bustling with a vibrant culture influenced by a variety of religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Semester at Sea ports of call in India include Cochin and Mumbai. Field Program options include multi-day trips to Mumbai, the Taj Mahal, New Delhi, and more. Highlights include exploring the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s seven wonders, or traveling to the holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges River. Get a taste of how 70% of Indians live by visiting the rural, traditional Chendamangalam village.

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    • capitol New Delhi
    • language Hindi, English
    • religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism
    • government Parliamentary system, federal republic, parliamentary republic, constitutional republic
    • currency Indian rupee
    • population 1.38 billion (2020)
  8. 8

    Port Klang, Malaysia

    Nov 06 – Nov 09

    What makes Malaysia worth visiting is the country’s diversity. Within this one country, you get to explore thriving, modern cities while exploring colonial architecture. At the same time, you have the option to relax on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and trek in lush green jungles home to orangutans, leopards, tigers, elephants, and more. Semester at Sea ports of call in Malaysia include Penang. Field Program options include visiting Kuala Lumpur and taking Malaysian cooking classes. Highlights include a multi-night trip to Malaysia’s Peninsula, exploring rainforests and cities, and staying with a local family.

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    • capitol Kuala Lumpur
    • language Malay
    • religions Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism
    • government Democracy, parliamentary system, constitutional monarchy, elective monarchy
    • currency Malaysian ringgit
    • population 32.37 million (2020)
  9. 9

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Nov 13 – Nov 17

    Vietnam is known for its lush, emerald green mountains, outstanding cuisine, and welcoming citizens. Here you can explore the Cu Chi Tunnels where Viet Cong soldiers lived and fought, travel by boat through the Mekong Delta, sample world-class pho, or bike through small villages. Students often enjoy a three-day trip to Cambodia from Vietnam to interact with an NGO that educates and trains disadvantaged locals in rural areas for employment in the hospitality industry. Semester at Sea ports of call in Vietnam include Ho Chi Minh City. Field Program options include cruising down the Mekong Delta or having a homestay with a local family. Highlights include a multi-day trip to Ha Noi and Ha Long Bay.

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    • capitol Hanoi
    • language Vietnamese
    • religions Atheism, Daoism, Buddhism, Confucianism
    • government Unitary state, communist state, socialist state
    • currency Vietnamese đồng
    • population 97.34 million (2020)
  10. 10

    Shanghai, China

    Nov 24 – Nov 29

    A leading region of civilization and culture for thousands of years, China originally outpaced most developing nations in terms of growth and industrialization. Semester at Sea ports of call in China include Shanghai. The famous Great Wall of China, which dates back to 206 BC, was constructed over thousands of years by several dynasties and is a highlight of the SAS field program in China. Other Field Program options and highlights of exploration for SAS participants include the Imperial Palace and the Forbidden City in Beijing, Tiananmen Square, the spectacular terracing of Guilin, and the fertile valleys of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers.

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    • capitol Beijing
    • language Mandarin
    • religions Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism
    • government Republic, unitary state, communist state, socialist state
    • currency Chines Yuan/People’s Renminbi
    • population 1.4 billion (2020)
  11. 11

    Osaka, Japan

    Dec 04 – Dec 08

    With its blend of modern cities amidst preserved ancient culture, Japan presents a variety of options for experiential learning. Students often enjoy getting a glimpse into traditional Geisha culture, taking a train to Tokyo, or exploring the many options for top-notch Japanese cuisine in the Harborland district in Kobe. Semester at Sea ports of call in Japan include Yokohama, Tokyo, and Kobe. Field Program options include a multi-night stay at Tokyo Disneyland, visiting Hiroshima and Himeji, or seeing snow monkeys at the Tenryuji Temple. Highlights include visiting one of the many modern and bustling cities in Japan or relaxing in hot springs.

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    • capitol Tokyo
    • language Japanese
    • religions Shinto, Buddhism
    • government Parliamentary system, unitary state, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Yen
    • population 125.8 million (2020)
  12. 12

    Busan, South Korea

    Dec 13 – Dec 16

    What doesn’t South Korea offer? With a pulsating culture, rich history, futuristic technology, vibrant cities, quiet countrysides, and mouth-watering food, this country in East Asia will make you never want to leave. It occupies the southern portion of the Korean peninsula and is bordered by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) to the north. Semester at Sea ports of call in South Korea include Busan. Highlights include exploring Seoul by foot where students can visit traditional hanok villages, museums, shopping markets, or K-Pop filming locations. Changdeokgung, an Eastern Palace from 1405 C.E., is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is another great highlight.

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    • capitol Seoul
    • language Korean
    • religions No religious affiliation, Christianity, Buddhism
    • government Unitary state, presidential system, constitutional republic
    • currency Korean won
    • population 51.78 million (2020)
  13. 13

    Tokyo, Japan

    Dec 22

    With its blend of modern cities amidst preserved ancient culture, Japan presents a variety of options for experiential learning. Students often enjoy getting a glimpse into traditional Geisha culture, taking a train to Tokyo, or exploring the many options for top-notch Japanese cuisine in the Harborland district in Kobe. Semester at Sea ports of call in Japan include Yokohama, Tokyo, and Kobe. Field Program options include a multi-night stay at Tokyo Disneyland, visiting Hiroshima and Himeji, or seeing snow monkeys at the Tenryuji Temple. Highlights include visiting one of the many modern and bustling cities in Japan or relaxing in hot springs.

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    • capitol Tokyo
    • language Japanese
    • religions Shinto, Buddhism
    • government Parliamentary system, unitary state, constitutional monarchy
    • currency Yen
    • population 125.8 million (2020)
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  4. 4
    Suez Canal Transit
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    Port Klang
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    Ho Chi Minh City
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    South Korea
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Diversion Ports

As we have been operating shipboard voyages since 1963, we’ve learned that itineraries are subject to adjustment. More than half of our voyages have required some deviation from the planned itinerary. The need to change an itinerary prior to and/or during a voyage can arise due to a number of factors: weather, political unrest, and other health and safety considerations. Should there be a need to adjust our published plans, we have identified potential diversion ports in each region of our expected travel. These ports are selected based on a number of factors including safety, educational value, and accessibility. These diversion ports simply serve as a backup should anything prevent us from traveling to our planned itinerary.

Other ports may be added as required. Just as our world is dynamic, this list of potential ports is also subject to change. Every destination must pass a comprehensive health and safety assessment, regardless of being a planned or diversion port.

Fall 2023 Diversion Ports

  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Surabaya, Indonesia
  • Cochin, India
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Palermo, Italy
  • Marseilles, France
  • Male, Maldives

Voyage Curriculum

The Perfect Mix of Classroom and Field Education

Semester at Sea’s global comparative study abroad program is enhanced by a robust academic program led by a team of academic experts from renowned institutions around the world. During the 100+ day voyage, students can earn 12-15 credits from Colorado State University, while taking major or elective courses, drawn for 20-25 fields of study. Each class also includes academically required Field Work courses, which are developed by faculty and allow for experiential in-country learning throughout the voyage.

Field Programs

Semester at Sea Field Programs 

When Semester at Sea arrives in each country, voyagers will either explore via required Field Work for their classes (for voyagers enrolled in academic courses), participate in optional Semester at Sea-designed Field Programs, or they can plan their own travel experiences.

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Looking to Sail as a Lifelong Learner?

Semester at Sea’s Lifelong Learning program provides adult educational travel to people at least 30 years of age who are seeking an opportunity to travel and learn as part of the Semester at Sea community. There are opportunities to sail on a full or partial (Spotlight) voyage.

Program Fees Overview

A Study Abroad Experience Is a Significant Investment, and Also One of the Best Investments for a Student’s Future.

In addition to earning 12-15 transferable college credits from Colorado State University, student program fees include many amenities and benefits to support students before and during their study abroad experience.

A look into what’s included:
  • Semester’s tuition and travel
  • Housing, meals, and amenities
  • Academic Field Classes
  • Email account
  • Starter Internet package
  • Comprehensive travel health insurance
  • Pre-voyage advisement and on-site residential student services staff
  • Fuel fee — subject to change depending on global cost fluctuations

Hear From Past Voyagers

Before embarking on my SAS journey I had no idea just how intense college courses would be. I am so grateful that I decided to do this program before entering my first year of college. It really provided me with an idea of what to expect in the fall.

My experiences prepared me for life, not just for college. After SAS, I was academically, socially and emotionally more than ready for college…I realized several aspects of my personality, and during SAS, my true personality showed up, and I was exposed to a whole new spectrum of myself…I loved it so much that I came back for another voyage, and I’m positive that I will sail again in future, not just once, but multiple times. MV Explorer is home for me.

One of the most valuable things I took away from my experience was the relationships I made aboard the MV Explorer, some of which I continue to connect with. They were all current college students, and offered me great advice when I began my freshman orientation during the fall after my summer voyage.

We learned a lot [about] how to live with others who are completely different [from each other] and still have respect and a lot of fun together and still hold our friendship until this day.

On SAS, I had the opportunity to feel a bond and closeness with people with whom I wouldn’t have otherwise had a connection. I learned about their lives, their children’s lives, their daily struggles, their most significant times of joy and began to really care. As I traveled, I became more connected not only to the people I met, but all people everywhere. We are all the same and every human life is important.


Semester at Sea welcomes curious, engaged students of any sex, gender identity, race, disability status, veteran status, nationality, or ethnicity to apply to travel the world as part of our living and learning community.

Gap Year Students

Recent high school graduates who are interested in sailing before enrolling full-time at an undergraduate institution

Undergraduate Students

Students who are enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program at an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university

Recent College Graduates

Students who have recently completed their undergraduate studies and wish to extend their learning

Frequenty Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about joining a Semester at Sea voyage.

Are faculty and staff allowed time to travel while in port?

Yes. However, some staff positions require the individual remain within a certain proximity of the ship for a portion of time. This individual shares in a rotating duty schedule and is available to the shipboard community in cases of emergency. Faculty members lead in-country field work for each course taught. When scheduled for such field work, faculty are not able to undertake personal travel. Otherwise, personal travel is permitted.

Are there age or physical fitness restrictions?

We welcome trip participants over 10 years of age to join us. While there is no maximum age, all participants must be physically fit, active, and in good health. Certain itineraries are better suited for families, and we encourage you to reach out to a Semester at Sea staff member to inquire about your own personal needs. Please refer to the program brochure for trip-specific requirements.
Any condition that requires special medical attention or assistance must be reported at the time a reservation is made. The individual trip brochures will provide specific details on the rigors of individual trips. If you have concerns about your ability to participate, please feel free to call us.

Are there discounts for alumni?

At this time, we offer a Loyalty Award to alumni (of any kind) who are sailing a full voyage as a Lifelong Learner. Read more.

Are there medical facilities in each port that can treat COVID-19 should I acquire it during the voyage?

Through our contract with CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International), Semester at Sea receives medical capability briefings for each country prior to arrival from AXA Assistance. These briefings provide lists of preferred medical facilities that indicate they have been vetted by their local representatives to provide quality and reliable care. These preferred facilities also have an established direct-bill arrangement with AXA to assist with prompt care and logistical response.

In the event that on-site medical care does not meet the needs of an individual (related to COVID-19 or otherwise), AXA would coordinate a transfer to another facility that can meet the needs.

Are there payment plans?

We do not offer payment plans for the Parent and Family Trips at this time. Full payment is required upon registering for the trip. You may use a credit card or mail a check (specific payment details are listed in each trip).

Ready to Set Sail?

Take the first step on the journey of a lifetime.